Tough Death Penalty Ad: ‘He Sat in a Room, and He Lied to Me’

Last week, Sarah posted video of an interview-style web ad featuring Dennis O’Connor, whose daughter was murdered in cold blood by a man named Nathan Dunlap in 1993. Dunlap was convicted of the premeditated quadruple murder, the appeals process was exhausted, and the convicted killer was scheduled for execution — until Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper granted him a temporary, indefinite reprieve in May of 2013. Hickenlooper, who campaigned as a “vocal” proponent of capital punishment in 2010, recently told CNN that if he loses his re-election bid, he’d consider granting Dunlap full clemency during his waning months in office:

In December 1993, Nathan Dunlap hid in the bathroom of a Chuck E. Cheese in Aurora and waited until after closing before emerging to shoot five people, four of them fatally. The then 19-year-old — who was a former employee of the restaurant-attraction — was sentenced to death…Dunlap was 19 when he went to the Chuck E. Cheese’s where he once worked and killed three teenage employees, Ben Grant, Sylvia Crowell and Colleen O’Connor, and their 50-year-old manager, Margaret Kohlberg, who were closing the restaurant. He also shot and seriously wounded a fifth employee, Bobby Stephens, and made off with about $1,500 in cash and game tokens…A CNN interviewer asked Hickenlooper if, “God forbid,” a Tancredo-style candidate who continued to make an issue of the death penalty won, what actions could Hickenlooper take? “If they did do that, and somehow they won, there are obviously remedies that the governor could do,” Hickenlooper said of his options. “I could do a full clemency between election day and the end of the year. There are a number of different opportunities to make sure that doesn’t happen. Again, human life should not be a political football.”